Chef Becky’s Beer Brined Pork Chops with Deshutes Black Butte Porter

This recipe will knock your socks off! Meaty pork chops brine for 6 hours in porter, molasses, brown sugar, and kosher salt, then get rubbed with fresh garlic and sage!

Beer Brined Pork Chops

  • 8 bone-in Pork Loin Chops (T-bone chops)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups Deschutes Black Butte porter beer
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 5 teaspoons dried sage
  1. In a glass bowl, combine the hot water, kosher salt, and brown sugar. Stir, and then microwave on high for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar and salt. In a large bowl, combine the beer and molasses. Add the dissolved sugar and salt solution. Submerge the pork chops in the brine. Place in refrigerator for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap, then two layers of paper towels. Remove pork chops from brine and arrange on the towel lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Blot the pork chops dry with several paper towels.
  3. In a mini food processor, combine the garlic cloves, oil, sage, salt and pepper. Process until garlic is finely minced. Apply 1/4 teaspoon of this rub to each side of the pork chops. Press in well.
  4. Preheat grill to medium-high. Place chops on grate, and close the lid. Turn heat down to medium. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn over, and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Do not overcook, or meat will become tough.

Chef Becky’s Sun-dried Tomato Penne Pasta Salad

In this episode, I show how to make my own version of pasta salad with a warm parmesan cheese, garlic, and sun-dried tomato sauce.

Sun-dried Tomato Penne Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 3 quarts water, with 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed variety, lightly drained
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, and add 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Add pasta, and stir well. Bring to a boil, and cook for as long as the package states. Stir several times while pasta cooks.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise and minced garlic.
  4. When pasta is done, pour into a large strainer. Do not rinse. Shake excess water off, and pour the hot pasta into the large bowl containing the mayo and garlic. Stir very well.
  5. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and the parmesan cheese. Stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 8 servings.

Chef Becky’s Berry Banana Smoothie

This smoothie tastes great!!! I combine a few simple ingredients, including two fruits and a veggie, to create a perfect health drink!

Banana Berry Greek Yogurt Smoothie

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cups nonfat Greek Yogurt (honey or vanilla flavor)
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 16 ounces silken tofu
  1. Place all ingredients in a large container.
  2. Using an immersion blender, puree all ingredients together until smooth.

Makes six smoothies.

Chef Becky’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are loaded with flavor! With a full cup of pumpkin, lots of chocolate, and the spices of pumpkin pie, they’re sure to become your family’s favorite cookie this season.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, completely softened
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s is my favorite brand of chips!)
  1. Combine butter, brown sugar and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.
  2. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Continue beating until well mixed.
  3. Reduce speed to low; add flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until well mixed.
  4. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Chill dough for one hour in the refrigerator. Dough can be frozen at this point if you would like to prepare in advance.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop cookie dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. Flatten slightly and place on foil-lined cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes.

Chef Becky’s Sausage, Apple, & Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breast

This recipe will become a new family tradition! Watch me make Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing, which I put in a fresh turkey breast, and then bind it with twine. I roast it, and then carve it into beautiful slices. It is perfect for a small family gathering, when you do not want to prepare a whole turkey. Enjoy!!

Sausage, Apple, Cranberry Stuffed Turkey

This is one of my favorite recipes! It’s sweet and savory, and has the hallmarks of the holidays, with fresh apples, fresh herbs, and dried cranberries. It is a special recipe, and well worth the effort. Your family will ask for it again and again!

For the stuffing, you will need:

  • 6 cups whole wheat bread, about 6 or 7 slices
  • 1 pound turkey sausage, breakfast flavor, casings removed
  • 1 ½ cups onion, diced small
  • 1 ½ cups celery, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large golden delicious apple, cored and chopped
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • ¾ cup turkey or chicken stock
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Cube the bread and then toast on a cookie sheet in a hot oven, for 6 to 8 minutes at 365 degrees. Transfer to large bowl.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the onions and sausage over medium heat. Break up the sausage into small pieces. Cook until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for 4 minutes for flavors to blend.
  3. Pour sausage mixture into bowl with the bread cubes. Mix in apples, cranberries, and parsley. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter.

For the turkey entrée, you will need:

  • 3-pound turkey breast, boneless and skinless, butterflied
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kitchen twine
  1. Prepare the stuffing before working with the turkey.
  2. Using a very sharp chef’s knife, trim all visible pieces of fat from the turkey breast. Cut a pocket into the thickest part of the turkey breast.
  3. On a cutting board, lay the longest piece of butcher’s twine perpendicular to yourself. Lay the other 4 pieces of butcher’s twine across the long piece. Lay the butterflied turkey breast on top of the twine, and arrange the breast meat open. Place about 3 or 4 cups of stuffing into the turkey breast. Taking one of the 4 shorter pieces of twine, carefully tie it closed, containing the stuffing in the turkey. Repeat with the other three pieces. Use care to contain all of the stuffing in the breast meat. Lastly, tie the long piece of twine, going the long way and fold the meat to contain the stuffing.
  4. Once the meat has been tied up, turn it over and place in an oven safe baking dish. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with the kosher salt, pepper, and thyme.
  5. Bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven, for approximately 55 minutes to an hour. Using a meat thermometer, check to ensure the stuffing has reached 165 degrees. Let roast rest for 15 minutes. Carve into slices, about half an inch thick.

**This recipe makes plenty of stuffing. Place remaining stuffing in an oven safe baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve on the side, along with my Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles, and Cranberry Orange Walnut Crescent Rolls.

Chef Becky’s Witch’s Figers & Ogre Toes: Spooky Snacks for Halloween, Breadsticks with Marinara

Make this fun snack with your kids, to have something healthy before trick-or-treating! I use pizza dough, and slice it into finger and toe shapes! Brush on pesto to make the Ogre Toes green!! Give them a WICKED manicure and pedicure with plastic spider rings!

Witch’s Fingers & Ogre Toes with Bloody Dip

  • 1 tube pizza dough
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 can medium whole olives
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 cup Marinara sauce
  • 12 plastic spider rings
  1. Using a sharp knife, slice the blanched almonds in half. Place them in a small glass dish and add four drops of red food coloring. Stir well so the almonds become coated with the red dye. Spread the almonds curved-side up on a paper towel to dry.
  2. Open tube of pizza dough, and unroll onto a large cutting board. Using a knife, cut long strips 1 inch wide, by 12 inches long. Cut the long strip into three pieces (approximately one finger long). Roll between your palms to make them round, like fingers. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Form a rounded knuckle shape in the middle of each finger. Press one red almond into the tip of each dough stick.
  3. For the Ogre Toes, cut the strips to be wider and shorter (1 ½ inches by 2 ½ inches long). Place them on the foil lined cookie sheet. Form into a toe shape. Using a small food-safe brush, brush pesto over the dough. Slice the whole olives into halves. Press one olive half into the tip of each toe.
  4. Bake fingers and toes in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Once cool, place the plastic spider rings on the Witch’s Fingers. Serve with marinara “bloody” sauce.

Chef Becky’s Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip is so tasty! I use rotisserie chicken, cream cheese, ranch dressing, Frank’s hot sauce, mozzarella cheese, and green onions. It’s great with Ritz crackers, celery sticks, and baby carrots.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, completely softened
  • ½ cup ranch dressing
  • ¼ cup Frank’s brand hot sauce
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cup green onions
  • 2 ½ cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles

Serve with celery sticks, baby carrots, Ritz Crackers

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, ranch dressing, green onions, and hot sauce.
  2. Mix until combined using an electric mixer.
  3. Add mozzarella cheese and mix again.
  4. Add diced chicken and stir gently.
  5. Place in a 13 X 9 baking dish, crock pot, or heavy-duty foil pan (for grilling).
  6. Sprinkle evenly with the blue cheese crumbles.

Oven: Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Crock pot: Heat on high for 1 hour, or low for 2 hours.

BBQ at your tailgater: Preheat grill to low. Place foil pan on directly on the grates, and close lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until dip is hot and bubbly.

Chef Becky’s Holiday Snack Mix with Chex, Pretzels, Dried Apples, Cranberries and M&M’s

This quick and easy Holiday Snack Mix is sure to become a family favorite!! Toast Cheerios with melted butter and cinnamon, then add the whole wheat Chex, pretzels, dried apples, dried cranberries, and M&M’s. Perfect for gift giving!

Holiday Snack Mix

  • 14 ounce box Cheerios, plain
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 14 ounce box Whole Wheat Chex
  • 6 cups mini pretzels
  • 2 cups dried apple rings, chopped small
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 cups M&M’s (12.6 ounce bag)
  1. In a large skillet, melt the stick of butter and add the cinnamon over medium-low heat. Stir well. Add the box of Cheerios, and stir well. Toast the Cheerios by stirring constantly over medium-low heat, until the butter is completely absorbed. Remove from heat.
  2. In a very large bowl, place the toasted Cheerios, the Chex cereal, the pretzels, the dried apples, the dried cranberries, and the M&M’s. Stir very well.
  3. Divide into cute gift packaging. Air tight is best. Store in the freezer if possible.

Chef Becky’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Coffee Drinks

Everything with Pumpkin Spice is so nice this time of year! In this episode of In the Kitchen, I demonstrate how easy it is to make fancy coffee drinks for your family, for just pennies per cup!

  • 2 cups strong coffee
  • 2 cups whole milk, hot
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice **recipe below
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup whipped cream

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

In a large container, add the hot coffee, hot milk, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Use a wire whisk and whip the ingredients together. Whisk vigorously to froth the milk. Pour into coffee mugs. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice. Serve immediately.

Chef Becky’s Banana Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Chocolate chips, ripe bananas, honey, and whole grains make this the perfect snack for backpackers, play dates, and lunch boxes!

Banana Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

  • 3 cups Rolled Oats (not instant or quick oats)
  • 1 cup Rolled Red Wheat
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Wheat Germ
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 2 tablespoons Molasses
  • 1 ½ cup banana, very ripe, smashed smooth
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s brand is my favorite)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 X 9 pan with foil, and spray foil with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, place all of the ingredients. Mix well using your hands. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool. Lift foil and bars out of the pan. Peel the foil off, and cut the bars into pieces. Makes 24 servings.